You have your brief ready from your client or your script is now ready for production and you have chosen Kenyan as your ideal location. You are probably scratching your head on what are the requirements for filming in Kenya so before you pack your gear and book your flights here is a quick guide to having a smooth shoot in Kenya and which applies to most East African countries.
We have two government agencies responsible for anything to do with Film and Television.
Kenya Film Commission mandate is to promote and market Kenya as a film destination while KFCB’s role is to license and rate movies.
2. Film Agencies
Film agencies are basically production houses even though we know of a few tour companies who are also registered as film agents. I will leave that discussion to another day. Now for you to start filming in Kenya you will need a film license, this license can only be applied through a registered film agent.
These agents will organize for your the rest of your filming requirements locally like:
3. Film Licence
You will need a film license to clear your equipment at the airport or to start filming in any public space. To apply for one you will need to provide the following:
Please note that you might pay for a different county film license depending on the locations. Also if you plan to shoot in a national park then please make sure to apply for Kenya Wildlife Film license along with the KFCB one.
4. Film Crew Special Passes
After you have applied for a film license through the film agent, they will now proceed with acquiring short term work permits for your foreign crew herein referred to as ‘Special Passes’. The passes are issued by the immigration department and allow you to work in the country for a short period of time.
You will also need a normal visa to enter the country which you can apply through the Kenyan Embassy in your country or at the passport control in Nairobi when you land.
5. Hotels & Cash
Most hotels will allow you to pay via your card but you can also withdraw some local currency from any Visa,American Express or Mastercard ATM. We recommend that you use ATM’s stations serviced by the well established banks. Please note that you will only be able to withdraw a maximum of ksh50,000 at a go so we suggest you make prior arrangements with your film agent but please do not carry large amounts of cash with you.
The best policy is always to send 50% of your agreed budget for ease of facilitation 25% when you start your shoot at the balance at the end of the shoot to have a smooth shoot.
If you have all the above ready we have no doubt your shoot will be a success and if you do need any help ADMS is a fully registered film agent and can take care of most the headache for you so you can worry about the creative elements of your production.
All the best and Happy shoooooting!!!
Planing to shoot in Kenya or East Africa? Enquire now.
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